The Collapse of Venezuela

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The Economist and Professor Steve Hanke and Professor Richard Nephew made an open discussion about the latest U.S. sanctions in Venezuela, its hyperinflation, and an economic meltdown that has spiraled the country into an unprecedented crisis with global impact.


Steve Hanke 
Economist and Professor  
Johns Hopkins University


A Professor of Applied Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Troubled Currencies Project at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., a Senior Advisor at the Renmin University of China’s International Monetary Research Institute in Beijing, a Special Counselor to the Center for Financial Stability in New York, a contributing editor at Central Banking in London, and a contributor at Forbes. Prof. Hanke is also a member of the Charter Council of the Society of Economic Measurement and of Euromoney Country Risk’s Experts Panel.


Included in his work with nations in Europe, Asia, and the Americas experiencing currency crises are the following South American highlights:

  • Argentina – Advised President Carlos Menem throughout most of the 1990’s and served as Minister Domingo Cavallo’s adviser in 1995-1996.
  • Venezuela – Served as President Rafael Caldera’s adviser in 1995-1996.
  • Ecuador – Served as Minister Carlos Julio Emanuel’s adviser in 2001-2002.
  • Investing – Served as the President of Toronto Trust Argentina (TTA) in Buenos Aires. In 1995, TTA was the world’s best performing mutual fund.
  • Academic – Received a Doctorate Honorus Causa from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Quito, Ecuador for his work in designing and implementing Ecuador’s dollarization. Holds honorary professorships in Ecuador and Peru.

Richard Nephew
Columbia University 


He is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy. He is the author of The Art of Sanctions, a book from CGEP’s Columbia University Press book series. Richard joined the Center February 1, 2015 directly from his role as Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the Department of State, a position he held since February 2013. Nephew also served as the lead sanctions expert for the U.S. team negotiating with Iran. From May 2011 to January 2013 Nephew served as the Director for Iran on the National Security Staff where he was responsible for managing a period of intense expansion of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Earlier in his career he served in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the State Department and in the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security at the Department of Energy. Nephew holds a Masters in Security Policy Studies and a Bachelors in International Affairs, both from The George Washington University.


Alejandro Arreaza
Latin American Economist 
Barclay’s Capital


Based in New York, Arreaza is responsible for the firm’s macroeconomic coverage of the Andean and Central American and Caribbean Economies. He joined Barclays in 2010 after working for several years in the financial markets in Venezuela. From 2004 to 2010, Arreaza was an economist at Bancaribe, the sixth largest bank in Venezuela, which is associated with Scotiabank. Prior to this, he worked in economics research for Santander Group Banco de Venezuela. Arreaza received a Master’s in Public Administration degree from Columbia University with a concentration in Economic Policy. He also holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the Universidad Católica Andres Bello in Venezuela, where he also received his B.A. in Economics.